Joaquin Phoenix on David Letterman last night, ostensibly to push his "last film" Two Lovers upon us.
If the homeless beard and the 'i'm quitting acting for hip hop' announcements weren't odd enough these past few months, his behavior here is. It's painful to watch though the ever quick Letterman makes the most of it. Is the continual crowd chuckling merely uncomfortable reflex or do they find the larger performance joke that Phoenix is having on all of us amusing?
Here's my question: If Phoenix's ruined career is the complicated hoax many believe it to be, shouldn't it be funny? I can't think of a delicate way to put this but if you're the brother of one of the saddest drug-related tragedies in modern Hollywood history, should you really be acting out in this particular psychotic break kind of way? Celebrity meltdowns can be funny (Tom Cruise) and some permanent crazy train ticket holders are greatly amusing or in on the joke (Bai Ling, Anne Heche) but it's all in the context.